Arsenal in battle for Barca starlet

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Arsenal reportedly face competition from Manchester City in the race to sign Barcelona youngster Guy Assulin.

The Israeli international has been earning rave reviews in the Barca B team, and Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has targeted the teenager as a potential star in the making.

Assulin is thought to be concerned over limited first team opportunities at the Nou Camp, with the player dubbed 'the new Messi' yet to make his senior debut in La Liga. The 19-year-old will be available on a free this summer, and Pep Guardiola will struggle to keep his starlet at the club without guarantees of top level football.

An international debut for Israel at 16 underlines the player's potential, with Assulin becoming the youngest player to represent his country when coming on for Yossi Benayoun against Chile in 2008.

Spanish paper Sport reports that Assulin could make his exit from Catalonia this summer, with Arsenal and City both considering potential deals for the former Beitar Nes Tubruk youth player.

Wenger has track record of bringing young players from Barcelona and developing their talents, with Cesc Fabregas and Fran Merida to obvious examples of work by the Frenchman.

Roberto Mancini's interest is more recent, with the Italian linked for the first time and reportedly pondering a gamble on a relatively untested talent.

Assulin is widely anticipated to make a free move this summer, and either the Gunners or Citizens will need to move quickly if they want to land the attacking midfielder who can play in the wide positions also.

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